Three students named Meena, Anu, and Ajay were studying in grade 7. Anu was the shortest in the class, and Ajay would always make fun of her. He would often call her by names that would suggest that she is short. He would also pat her on the head to make her feel how she was not tall. Anu felt very bad about these comments, but she had no choice but to listen. Meena would enjoy with Ajay, but she will also sympathize with Anu.
Have you or anyone of your friends been in the same situation anytime?
It is usual for students to tease each other, but when they are making fun of someone purposefully or forcing them to do something which they don't want to do, it is called bullying.
Students often get into making fun or teasing someone though they know that it is wrong, and it might lead to some problem. Students want to enjoy themselves with their friends and do whatever their friends are doing. Here, though Meena knows that Anu does not like the way Ajay teases her, still Meena enjoys with Ajay. Meena does not stop Ajay from doing so, as she feels it might upset him, as Ajay is her friend. Even Ajay knows that he is hurting Anu still he continues doing so as Ajay feels he has control over her by doing so, and also he enjoys the attention of his classmates. His classmates, instead of stopping, they laugh at what Ajay does.
But the students should ask themselves, by making fun of someone or by making them unhappy, whether they can show that they are strong. Students who often do such type of things are low in self-esteem. This means that they are not happy about themselves as they lack something in them, so they make fun of other people. In that way, they feel better. They think that they will be an important part of the class if they find fault with others even if it means that they are picking on the other student.
Maybe Ajay does not study well and is not happy with the way he performs in the exams. Maybe Meena has big ears, and she does not want anyone to notice that in her. So, Anu, who is calm and does not respond much, becomes their target. On seeing Anu's reaction, Meena and Ajay can relate to it, and they find solace in Anu's response.
It is not always necessary that students need to hit or verbally abuse the other student as a part of bullying. If a group of children are always neglecting a student in games, projects, or assignments, that is also called bullying. Sometimes, some students spread stories about a particular student, and that story makes the student sad; even that is called bullying. In simple words, if the student is continuously made fun of, then it is bullying. Even ragging is part of bullying.
The student generally knows the person who bullies. They are either in the school, class, or neighbourhood. Students usually avoid them out of fear or become a part of that bullying group as they enjoy it. But the student should know that they have to bear the outcome of whatever is happening.
Do the students remember the word "Peer pressure"? Peer means the people who are of the same age or having a common interest. In school, your classmates or friends are the students' peers. Never succumb to peer pressure. In some situations, a student doesn't want to be part of something happening, but the student goes with their peers, just because they don't want to be the odd man out. It can be as simple as praising a movie that the student didn't like at all or as serious as ragging a student unnecessarily. The student is always under pressure to go ahead with what the peers do.
Students, have you ever bullied anyone, or have you been bullied by someone? Most of the students whom the bullies bully feel very bad. No student wants to be an odd man out, neither they want to be made fun of in front of other students. If it continues, they start feeling lonely, and they lose their confidence level.
Usually, the student who bullies try to find fault in the appearance of the other student like extra weight than standard students, or the clothes which the other student wears if it is loose or tight. In the playground, the bullies say that the student cannot even throw a ball decorously. If it is within the society or family, they say that why to show off.
The students' mental and physical health may be affected by the comments passed by the bullies. The student whom the bully is bullying will have frequent health problems and might not be able to sleep as they will have nightmares of whatever happened or is happening to them.
Some more outcomes of the student whom the bully is bullying are they might become introvert. They will have behavioural issues. They will become furious suddenly, or the student might also start bullying other students, to feel better.
Can you find a solution to stop bullying?
If a bully is bullying a student, please tell a responsible adult like the teacher, the principal, or the director of the school; Even parents can take responsibility and inform the school authorities. The responsible person can make the student, who is bullying, understand that it is not acceptable on their part. They should understand the outcome of whatever they are doing and that it is not good to bully someone. There is difficulty lay hold of a stand by some of the students. You can speak to the peers saying that it is not the right thing to do. Sometimes the students should avoid entering into wrongdoings. Show support by making them participate in games. Speak to them, share lunch with them; all these things will make them feel better.
Show them empathy. Empathy is not sympathy. Empathy is keeping yourself in that situation, understanding the circumstances, and reacting according to it. Understand the feelings of the student whom the bully is bullying. When the students are not just onlookers, but the students feel for the opposite person, then they will stop bullying.
Some students are loyal to their peers, so they don't inform anything. The student feels that complaining about their friends to the adults will put them in trouble. For example, the same Meena who saw Ajay bullying Anu could have told her teacher about the incident. Meena might lose Ajay's friendship, but she would feel better for herself if she does the right deed, and speaks for Anu. Some situations require adult intervention; some may not. So, understand that situation; in the process, Meena would have helped Ajay also, as Ajay would grow up to be a better human being.
Schools, colleges, and some workplaces also have strict rules to stop bullying. But it can still happen knowingly or unknowingly. Therefore, if you find a bully bullying a student, make sure to report it and make the world a better place to live.